A Solution

New Canadian Workers

Every day people from around the world choose to make BC home.

Many of these new Canadians bring with them valuable skills and years of experience in construction but end up working in other sectors because of social and bureaucratic factors.

If we can help them overcome these challenges we can get them working in their chosen field and doing what they do best.

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Immigrants – A Skills Reservoir

“Immigrants are highly motivated, educated, and adaptable.” – Freda Fernandez, Manager, Immigrant Services Society of BC

New Canadians have a lot to offer:

Expertise >
  • In-demand sophisticated skill sets
  • Foreign language assets beneficial in sales and trade
Experience >
  • Proficient and adept
  • Bring new approaches and perspectives such as innovative building techniques and business practices
  • Can mentor and apprentice others
Motivation >
  • They work hard and want to fit in
  • Have a desire to succeed
  • They’ve already made a commitment to come here in order to improve their lives and feel gratitude for real opportunities
Connections >
  • They know other skilled workers
  • They bring their networks with them
Ambition >
  • Many immigrants are entrepreneurial and looking for partners in joint ventures.
  • These entrepreneurs can also replace the retiring plumber or electrician who own support companies in booming communities.

A place to call home.

Hiring a new Canadian worker has many social and economic advantages. They are looking for companies where they can build a career and grow over time, a community where their families can settle. More than a job, they are looking for a place to call home.

Often the reservoir of skills that new Canadians bring with them goes unutilized.

There are barriers related to language, culture, and accreditation that may need to be overcome.

Fortunately, there are people and resources available to help bridge the gap and make hiring a new Canadian a lot easier.

Success Stories

Need proof? Meet some of the companies already benefiting from the skills new Canadian workers have to offer.

  • Sterling Crane

  • Accutemp

  • Sidney Architectural

  • Stinger Welding

  • Sterling Crane

    Prince George, BC

    Sterling Crane is one of World’s leading crane rental houses. Their Contract Lifting Division provides a tailor made service for clients who require exceptionally heavy or complex lifting.

    John Shury, a crane operator from London, heard about the opportunities in Canada from a colleague who had immigrated to Canada. “I’m here now and I just love it. Canadians are such nice people, so helpful” says John.

    He is also happy to be able to give back. “The skill sets I’ve got have grown out of thirty years of experience,” says John. “Those years have taught me a lot of easier and safer ways of doing things. I’ve been showing the guys here and they’re starting to pick up on them.”

    “He’s a good mentor”, says Ken Morland. And, while he admits that, “every once in a while we run into some conflicting terminology – what we call a ‘double-J’, John calls a ‘ram’s horn’, he also brings methods that are helping our workers.

    John’s work has already taken him to many communities in Northern BC. “It’s just beautiful”, he says. “It’s all been a bit of a holiday really, compared to where I come from. My son’s a crane operator too. I’ve been telling him about the life I’ve got here and now he wants to come over as well.”

    Ken Morland, Branch Manager
John Shury, Crane Operator

    Ken Morland, Branch Manager John Shury, Crane Operator

  • Accutemp

    Victoria, BC

    Accutemp provides specialized commercial and residential air-conditioning and refrigeration system installation and repair. Last year they hired Clive Hardman, an experienced technician originally from the south of England.

    “I did my apprenticeship in 1977 so I’d been doing this for a while before coming to Canada”, says Clive. “When I got here I worked in Calgary on high-rise air-conditioning controls, setting up the airflows, and getting all of the sheet metal and mechanicals tied-in together.”

    When he moved to Vancouver Island 18 months ago he still didn’t have his Canadian certifications. That didn’t stop Accutemp from hiring him. As Scott Kraft, Accutemp’s owner says, “Most times I can work with candidate for less than a day and realistically know whether they’ve got the skills I need.”

    Nevertheless a lot of Accutemp’s customers require certified workers, so Clive started looking into it. “A friend of mine told me about STEP and they helped me get together all of the documentation I needed, stuff that would have been really hard for me as an individual to navigate and do on my own. Now I’m Red Seal certified.”

    “Clive is good worker, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about him,” says Scott. As for Clive, he loves the island. “It has similar weather to the UK and socially I haven’t had any issues – besides teaching Canadians how to speak English.”

    Clive Hardman, HVAC Technician
Scott Kraft, Owner

    Clive Hardman, HVAC Technician Scott Kraft, Owner

  • Sidney Architectural

    Sidney, BC

    Sidney Architectural specializes in custom cabinetry and millwork. They attribute a lot of their success to the stability of their staff. Many of their employees began as our apprentices and are now fully qualified journeymen, joiners.

    A good example is Victor Velazquez. He came to Canada from Mexico, where he was trained as an engineer. A self-described handyman Victor started at Sidney Architectural as a labourer, but quickly fell in love with woodworking.

    Since then, with some help from STEP who helped him transition his education and skills into the Canadian system, Victor has become an apprentice Cabinetmaker/Joiner.

    His goal is to go step by step and get his Red Seal.  “I want to be a good cabinet maker like these guys in the shop, and build beautiful stuff,” says Victor. Surrounded by highly skilled, experienced journeymen cabinetmakers, he has some great role models to turn to as he continues through his training.

    “I didn’t expect to like it this much,” Victor says, smiling. “I really like seeing things get done. Starting with a piece of wood here in the shop, and taking it all the way to installation in a house. That’s a good feeling for sure.”

    Victor Velasquez, Cabinetmaker/Joiner

    Victor Velasquez, Cabinetmaker/Joiner

  • Stinger Welding

    Prince George, BC

    Stinger Welding specializes in welding and fabricating structural steel for large-scale construction projects. They have hired a number of new Canadians to meet demand.

    “We’ve found very good workers with great skill-sets,” says company owner Willy Manson.  “They’ve all been eager to start new lives and improve themselves, and I’ve found it a very good experience so far.”

    Two of his employees came from South Africa.

    Kobus is one of Stinger’s most experienced workers with over 20 years in the industry. “I came to Canada because I loved the countryside and because of the opportunities I saw”, he says. “Finding the right company was key. I started at a non-union shop so they got me working while I did the testing and paperwork to get certified. I met Willy a few years ago and our friendship grew, and now it’s turned into a career opportunity.”

    George is a labourer who came to BC after marrying a Canadian. He worked as a landscaper until Kobus introduced him to Willy. “He is a hard worker with a lot of skills,” says Willy, “and with a little training and support he is going to move up quickly.”

    “Paul is our most recent hire,” says Willy.  “He has really good welding and fabricating skills, and we are currently helping him work through the BC qualifications so that we can ticket him for our requirements.”

    “One challenge is getting him integrated into small-town life,” says Willy. “He’s used to the city and it’s pretty quiet here in Prince George.”

    As for Paul, he says, “I had to look outside the big cities. When I first came over from Ireland I didn’t have my ticket and a lot of companies wouldn’t hire me without it. If I’d stayed in Vancouver I’d be working as a labourer. I found a much better opportunity up north.”


    George Jordaan, Labourer
Paul Byrne, Welder
Willy Manson, Owner
Kobus Jordaan, Project Manager

    George Jordaan, Labourer
    Paul Byrne, Welder
    Willy Manson, Owner
    Kobus Jordaan, Project Manager